Getting to Know: Denise Anderson
The CLM Construction Committee’s conference subcommittee co-chair discusses her and fellow co-chair Jacqueline Stein’s work on CLM Atlanta.
By Eric Gilkey
On the combined content format of CLM Atlanta:
“The CLM Atlanta conference includes three tracks: One track on construction litigation and claims topics; one on environmental litigation and claims topics; and one on more general claims litigation management issues. The Construction and Environmental Committees (made up of fellows and members, of course) are in charge of the selection of topics and speakers for their respective tracks. The benefits of content-focused conferences like CLM Atlanta are that attendees are a smaller in number in each session, which allows for more participation as well as more advanced topics. The smaller environment also allows for more interaction and networking among attendees. In all tracks, though, the panels will delve into the relationships among carriers, counsel, and clients to promote coordination, cooperation, and efficiency in handling complex cases.”
On what excites her most about the sessions being offered:
“We are very fortunate because truly experienced and knowledgeable fellows and members came forward to speak. These are the folks that you want to hear from in our industry! Sessions will include construction insurance topics including wrap products, handling allocation and coordination among different carriers, and maximizing insurer resources. Sessions also will include revisions in the right-to-repair statutes and avoiding pitfalls in construction defect and environmental cases. The issues of selecting, working with, and managing experts will be presented by our experienced panelists, including managing your own expert as well as how to challenge opposing experts on extrapolation testimony. In the environmental track, the audience will be offered presentations concerning site investigations and remediation repairs as well as damages particular to environmental concerns, such as lung cancer claims and benzene litigation.
“We also are very excited about our keynote speaker who is a former Navy SEAL. He will provide some riveting personal stories to motivate the audience in terms of handling challenging duties and responsibilities, and to promote unity and teamwork in accomplishing goals across the board.”
On trends happening in the construction space in terms of litigation and claims:
“It is always hard to discuss a trend because what’s new in some parts of the country may be moot or nonexistent in another part of the country. With that caveat, we are seeing trends in how the claimants and carriers are handling additional insured obligations. We are seeing liability carriers joined as defendants upfront in litigation so that coverage determinations can be made or resolved earlier in the litigation. Some carriers will resolve their additional insured obligations at the outset while leaving the indemnity claims of the named insured viable for litigation.
“In other parts of the country, the carriers will intervene in the main or primary action (to which it would not typically be a party) so that they can recover the costs and fees for the defense of their additional insured in the litigation. Other trends reflect the economics of the construction practice, such as dealing with defunct and bankrupt insured clients and managing large self-insured retentions.”